04.Different types of hospital care
Be a public patient in a public hospital
Even if you have private insurance, you’re under no obligation to be a private patient in a public hospital. But you can revert to private any time you like.
As a public patient in a public hospital you get the following services free of charge:
- Accommodation in the hospital.
- Nursing care
- The procedures and treatment you were admitted for, performed by the doctor allocated to you.
- Medicines prescribed for you.
- Diagnostic tests needed to support your treatment.
- Treatment or services for your condition from hospital social workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, dietitians and other hospital health workers.
- Follow-up treatment as a hospital outpatient or in the community.
A private patient in a public hospital
- If you choose to be a private patient in a public hospital, the same services are available but have to be paid for by you or your private health fund.
- The only benefit is you can ask to see a medical specialist of your choice from among those appointed to the hospital. (Although even as a public patient you’re entitled to a second opinion free of charge.)
- Being a private patient doesn’t mean you’ll get a private room, as these are given on the basis of clinical need in public hospitals. And it shouldn’t make any difference to the time you’ll wait for a service, or the quality of the service you’ll receive.
A private patient in a private hospital
- The main advantage of going private is being able to reduce your waiting time for elective surgery by having it done at a private hospital.